Archive for Wednesday, June 1, 1994


June 1, 1994


A seed planted 11 years ago is bearing fruit for a planned July reunion.

The area's black community plans to hold a reunion of old family and friends July 1-3 in Lawrence.

"You might call it a homecoming," said Charleen Newman Coleman, one of the planners.

Coleman said the reunion, which is intended to be held annually, was open to any past or current residents who would like to come.

"It's something that we have been wanting to have for a long time," she said.

Organizers are encouraging people to use the July 1-3 weekend for family reunions and to also promote a sense of community and fellowship.

The reunion was conceived several years ago by a former Lawrence resident, Geri Green Austin, who now lives in Moraga, Calif., but who has maintained her ties to Lawrence through family, friends and a subscription to the Journal-World.

Austin had sent out about 300 letters 11 years ago, trying to get people together at Lawrence, but she received only a few responses. However, during a visit with friends and family last fall, the idea gained momentum and a number of Lawrence residents have been involved in the planning and in compiling a mailing list of current and former Lawrence residents.

Coleman said the organizers aren't yet certain how many people will attend.

However, they've received responses from people who graduated high school in Lawrence during the late 1940s and have heard from people from California, Michigan and Missouri. She said they're expecting many people to come who have not responded.

Many people are being told of the event through word of mouth and the organizers are also working through the city's 10 black churches.

"I think we'll have well over 200 people," Coleman said. "It's for anyone who has lived in Lawrence in the past or who is presently living here. This is for people who want to meet old friends and make new ones and just celebrate with each other."

For more information, call Coleman, 841-1409; Deborah Berry Walker, 842-0130, or LaVerta Nash Logan, 865-0034.

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